Bandow provides a useful general survey; I’ve included his reports on some of the more modern, moderate states below. “The Problem of Islamic Religious Persecution: How is it that only Western nations are accused of ‘defaming’ religion?,” by Doug Bandow for National Review, December 3 (thanks to Twostellas):
America, like so many countries in the West, laments its strained relations with the Islamic world. In June, Pres. Barack Obama traveled to Cairo to speak against the “fear and mistrust” that exist between the West and Islam. Yet Muslim governments demand respect for Islam while refusing to offer similar respect for religious minorities within their own borders.
The recent Swiss vote to ban the construction of minarets in that European nation has become the latest controversy to generate Muslim protests worldwide. However, Islamic governments are in no position to complain about Western intolerance and “Islamophobia.” Most Muslim nations are repressive or offer only limited political freedom. More often than not, Islamic states violate basic human rights; and almost all persecute Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities.
Many authoritarian states — especially Communist or formerly Communist ones — violate religious liberty along with other freedoms in order to maintain political control. But Muslim nations are almost unique in their willingness to persecute religious minorities to promote religious ends, as is evident from the State Department’s latest report on religious liberty abroad.
The State Department refers to “state hostility toward minority or non-approved religious groups,” as if different faiths randomly oppressed different faiths. However, Islam has distinguished itself with the willingness of governments and individuals to harass, attack, jail, and kill members of other religions. Even the most moderate and tolerant Islamic states often fall far short of respecting religious minorities. In Morocco, for instance, the government detained converts from Islam to Christianity, expelled Christian missionaries, and restricted “non-Islamic materials and proselytizing.” Many other Islamic states are far worse, however.
The U.S. expelled the Taliban government, but has not created a free society. Although the Karzai government responded to outside pressure and took some steps to improve religious liberty, explains State, “the residual effects of years of jihad against the former Soviet Union, Taliban rule, civil strife, popular suspicion regarding outside influence of foreigners, and still weak democratic institutions hindered the realization of this aspiration.” Relations among different Muslim sects “continued to be difficult”; non-Muslims face “harassment and occasional violence”; “most local Christians did not publicly state their beliefs or gather openly to worship.” […]
The most populous Islamic nation, Indonesia long has reflected a more moderate variant of Islam. But Muslim extremists remain active and often unconstrained by the authorities. Reports State: “Ongoing government restrictions, particularly among unrecognized religions and sects of the recognized religions considered ‘deviant’ were significant exceptions to respect for religious freedom.” Worse, the government sometimes “tolerated discrimination against and the abuse of religious groups by private actors and failed to punish perpetrators.” Those responsible are rarely punished. Moreover, “Some groups used violence and intimidation to forcibly shut at least nine churches and 12 Ahmadiyya mosques.” […]
Tragically, liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein meant liberating some of the worst sectarian passions, which he had brutally held in check. Roughly half of Iraq’s historical Christian community has been displaced, many to Jordan and Syria, another secular Arab dictatorship. Although the government does not persecute, reports State, “violence conducted by terrorists, extremists, and criminal gangs restricted the free exercise of religion and posed a significant threat to the country’s vulnerable religious minorities.” Although overall violence is down, Christians and other religious minorities continue to be targeted by radical Muslims.
This former British colony remains freer than Iran but not as free as Indonesia. Observes State: “Minority religious groups remained generally free to practice their beliefs; however, over the past several years, many have expressed concern that the civil court system has gradually ceded jurisdictional control to Sharia courts, particularly in areas of family law involving disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims.” Conversion from Islam is prohibited and, notes the department, “Religious minorities continued to face limitations on religious expression and alleged violations of property rights,” including prohibiting proselytizing of Muslims.[…]
Although the government generally respects freedom of religious practice, it restricts Islamic expression in education and official circumstances. Moreover, notes State, “Minority religious groups also faced difficulties in worshipping, registering with the Government, and training their followers,” as well as proselytizing. Further, “Threats against non-Muslims created an atmosphere of pressure and diminished freedom for some non-Muslim communities. Many Christians, Baha’is, and heterodox Muslims faced societal suspicion and mistrust, and some elements of society continued to express anti-Semitic sentiments.”…